SP 1.5-6x50 XP

In the past four to five years the range of telescopic sights, binoculars and spotting scopes offered by Lynx Optics has become established as some of the best value for money optical products available in Australia. This is particularly true of the range of telescopic sights. New models are coming on-line regularly and one of the latest is the SP 1.5-6x50XP.

The 1.5-6x50 XP is the latest edition to the professional series of Lynx scopes. Like all the scopes in the series, it has a matte black finish finished one piece aircraft grade aluminum tube. All lens surfaces are multi-coated for superior light and sharp image transmission, providing excellent contrast across the lens clarity.

Lengthwise it’s a relatively compact scope measuring just 300mm overall. That length, together with a 50mm objective lens 30mm tube and a relatively large diameter adjustment ring and ocular bell gives the scope a squat, businesslike appearance. I regard scopes of this size and power range as ideal for hunting – especially under conditions where ranges can vary considerably during the course of a day.

The 50mm objective lens delivers all the light ever needed, including when hunting under low natural light conditions. The exit pupil – the column of light transmitted through the scope to the eye – is a massive 33.3mm on 1.5x. On 6x, it drops back to a more realistic 8.3mm which is still more light than an average healthy can distinguish. A significant advantage to having such a large pupil across the full magnification range is that eye alignment is not an issue when using the scope. When you look through it you get a full sight picture every time.

In line with the compact the overall length of the scope the 30mm tube has an adjustment range of just 35mm between turrets and the objective bell. You have to expect that on scopes such as this and select your scope mounts accordingly.

On the subject of 30mm tubes it’s worth nothing that a 30mm tube does not allow more light to pass through the scope to the eye than a one inch or 26mm tube. Exit pupil is determined by the relationship between magnification and the diameter of the objective lens (exit pupil = diameter of objective lens in millimeter divided by the power). The main benefit of a 30mm tube is to provide more room internally for windage and elevation adjustments.

The review scope was fitted with an XP reticle with a heavy bar at three, six and nine o’clock and a fine line at 12, It’s a very practical arrangement that makes target acquisition easy, especially if you’re in a hurry.

Under normal light conditions the heavy bars naturally lead the eye onto the fine central crosshair. When the light is low, those same bars give a visible reference point for aiming when the finder crosshairs have become lost in the gloom. Other reticle types are also available in the 1.5-6x50 XP and these are listed in the specifications in the Lynx Optics web site. The windage and elevation turrets are finger adjustable with click stops having a nominal value of one quarter inch or 7mm. Rotational direction is clearly marked on each with a double-ended arrow and the appropriate word directions.

On 1.5x the scope can be used with both eyes open for running or close up game, while the 6x setting is good enough to allow deliberate sniping shots at game that is further out. The ocular bell has a diameter of 44mm and is fitted with a rubber padded, screw-in-out diopter for fine individual eye adjustment. The diopter has an adjustment range of around one and a half turns or 10mm which is ample for most people if the scope is set properly in the first place.

For range testing the 1.5-6x50 XP was set on my No. 1 Ruger in .458 – replacing the 1.5-6x42 Lynx that has lived on this rifle for the past three years. Ammunition used was a handload consisting of 77gns AR2208 with 400-gn Woodleigh PP SN bullets – a load that routinely shoots less than MOA in the rifle.

Getting the bullet to print on target at the right height above the bull took only six shots. The reticle answered to adjustments precisely, making sighting in an easy process – an important consideration when you’re shooting a .458 off the bench, padded shoulder bags or not. The final-three shot group measured just on 25mm and while I know the rifle will group tighter than that if I do my job properly, with a hunting trip arranged for the enxt day I called it good enough.

Like the 1.5-6x42 that preceded it, the 1.5-6x50 is a scope that will find favour with a lot of hunters. With its magnification range it can be used efficiently over a wide range of hunting conditions with the lower settings ideal for running game like pigs in the lignum or goats in the scrub. In the mountains it’s an excellent choice for deer hunters who prowl around the thick stuff or work the edge country early morning or late in the evening where low-light conditions are the norm. Like all the Lynx products I’ve looked at, I consider it to be excellent value for money.

John Dunn - Hunter Magazine, Edition VIII 2004

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